Artificial intelligence and algorithmic design have accelerated, moralized, and fragmented communication across the internet and real life. Beginning with the rise in popularity of social networking in the early 2010s, the pressure to assume one's identity through public accounts of the self has only increased over the years as social media in the lives of the general public become more ubiquitous.
The space of the profile is where user data is injected into the existing algorithmic framework, which results in personal data being sold to advertisers. A major reason mental health is declining among younger people is the failure to constitute one's own identity due to the pressure for the user to observe themselves and others. This commodification of identity impedes users’ ability to sincerely conceptualize themselves, caused by limited introspection and self-awareness. By constantly checking and surveilling, the user becomes unable to fulfill the neoliberal prompt of individual authenticity, instead becoming producers of their own commodified profile.
Accelerated Identities is a series of animated subway posters that emphasize the self-optimization and self-construction resulting from engagement with an algorithm incentivized to perpetuate and commodify content for the purpose of data collection. The posters will live on the large vertical screens of subway stations, alongside advertisements that are the product of user data extraction. With rising alienation on social media, I hope to address the failure of these platforms’ goals to network and connect people by imagining the user interfaces without the obfuscation of their intuitive and minimalistic design.